With Chelsea boasting an abundance of top stars in their squad, the likelihood is that a number of young prospects will once again be allowed to leave the club on loan.
Last season, the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Thibaut Courtois and Lucas Piazon were among the top youngsters to spend a year elsewhere, and this coming season Tomas Kalas appears to be heading the list.
The Czech Republic international join the Blues in 2011, although after a two-year loan spell at Dutch side Vitesse, the 21-year-old didn’t make his Chelsea debut until this season – replacing Juan Mata during the 2-0 League Cup victory over Arsenal in October.
Kalas' Premier League debut came as a huge surprise, as boss Jose Mourinho named him in the starting XI for the trip to Liverpool at the end of April – a game which Chelsea won 2-0.
His performance earned him praise from his boss and the media, and Kalas was given yet another start on the final day of the campaign, as he helped his team overcome Cardiff City 2-1 in the Welsh capital.
With David Luiz heading to Paris Saint-Germain, it was expected that Kalas would challenge John Terry and Gary Cahill for a first-team spot next season.
According to German publication Bild, however, it appears that the Chelsea centre-back is set for a spell in the Bundesliga as FC Koln are reportedly closing in on a loan deal, with the move expected to be completed next week.
The paper goes on to say that the youngster is likely to compete with tall centre-back Dominic Maroh and fellow new signing Mergim Mavraj for a starting berth at the RheinEnergieStadion.